Hoison panko pork plate

Did I Ever Mention I Am Not A Good Cook?

I grew up just as fast food became the latest fad, and being the youngest child, Mom was ready to let someone else cook much of the time. For years, I lived off of Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon PopTarts, McDonalds, and the occasional can of Pork and Beans or Stuffed Crabs to round out my food repertoire.

I grew up just as fast food became the latest fad, and being the youngest child, Mom was ready to let someone else cook much of the time. For years, I lived off of Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon PopTarts, McDonalds, and the occasional can of Pork and Beans or Stuffed Crabs to round out my food repertoire.

my daily diet for many years
True story

Don’t get me wrong. I was stubborn, and wouldn’t eat what Mom cooked most of the time. (There were some exceptions but it was rare). Instead of constantly trying to force feed me, she gave in to the ease of 70’s new foods.

No big deal. I lived and thrived.

But what it REALLY means is that I never learned to cook.

Microwaves became a hit, and between that and frozen foods, I had it made. The years went by.

As old age started to wink at me, I started trying harder. I had small grandchildren, and I wanted to try to feed them something decent.

I failed and failed often.

No more PopTarts

The thing is, I grew out of my finicky ways over the years, and I LOVE food. I also LOVE going out to restaurants, though admittedly, I can’t afford to do that very often. Still, over the years, I’ve acquired a fondness for many types of foods from various cultures.

And I really got into watching cooking competitions on TV for a while there. Maybe I didn’t know how to cook, but I started learning some of the concepts by watching those television shows. Cooking vicariously, I guess.

What I’m leading up to is that I love food, I would love to be able to cook good food, but my talents in that area are dismally low. I didn’t have the time or money to go to school to learn to cook, so …

What could I do?

There’s a good answer to that, actually. Six weeks ago, I discovered the concept of meal kit delivery services, thanks to some commercial on TV.  MY WORLD CHANGED!

I began by trying Hello Fresh. I plan to try various other services so I can compare them, and decide which I like best.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that this is the answer to so many people’s cooking woes, especially mine!

Whether you just don’t have time, or you don’t think you have the skills to create REAL meals, you should consider this option.

From the very first box, I began to document the entire process, and I’m sharing it here on my blog, because this has become an important part of my life.

Sounds silly, I know, but I have a confession to make. This process has given me a confidence I sorely needed. When I make these dinners, I feel good about myself. It’s as though I am creating something worthwhile; something beautiful. I feel as though I’m no longer a loser in the kitchen. Again, probably a silly thing, but it’s hung over me like a heavy weight for all of my adult life.

Now…I create incredibly delicious meals that are WORTHY.

The first thing everyone asks is “How expensive is it?”

I started this story with the mention of fast food. Fast food continued to be a big part of my life throughout my life. Until 6 weeks ago, at least three times a week, fast food would be my go-to meal for us. Each time I paid at the drive-through window, the bill for two meal deals (burger, fries, drink) averaged a little over $17. So every week, I was spending about $52 for two fast-food meals.

Now, instead of spending $52 for 3 fast-food meals per week, I spend $59 weekly for 3 insanely delicious REAL dinners that I can be proud to serve.

Each meal I receive and create gets photographed, reviewed and documented. I’m honest about the experience. If it’s great, you’ll know about it. If it sucks, you’ll hear about that too.

If making dinner is making you stress, maybe a meal kit service is the answer you’ve been looking for. I highly recommend seeing if it works for you. You can try it and get $40 off for the first week. And don’t worry. You don’t have to sign up for an extended period of time. It’s not like that. Stop any time. Start up again any time. Pause the service for any week at any time. We all need to put things on pause now and then, and it’s simple to do with these services.

You can choose from a variety of menu options each week.

I use the 3 meals per week option, and I choose from 8 menu items each week. The dinner choices vary from week to week, and honestly, it can be difficult to choose, because I want to try most of them! But I love having choices, and I bet you will too.

I’m not here to convince you. I’m just here to share something that has made a difference in my life…as small as that may seem to others. I’m cooking great food and loving it! That’s a big deal for me.

The featured image at the top of this page is one of the dinners I’ve recently cooked. Looks amazing, right? Stay tuned. I’ll be posting that one and lots more soon, so you can see exactly how this is working out for me. Here’s another sneak peek.

Tomatoes and sausage
Tomatoes and sausage

If you decide to try Hello Fresh, you can get $40 off your first order by using the coupon code DONNACAV or just click the button below to automatically apply the coupon code. You can freely choose to skip or cancel future deliveries, so there is no lock-in. If you don't like it, no worries. Just skip or cancel.

Disclosure: If you use my coupon code, I also receive credit on my meal kit. We both benefit!


Glance through the recipe instructions before you begin. Some recipes ask you to chop veggies in the middle of the process, usually while something else is cooking on the stove. I recommend ignoring those instructions. Instead, prep all your veggies before you do anything else. (You can preheat your oven during this time). If you are anything like me, trying to chop vegetables while watching over the cooking process will usually end up with overcooked or burned food, or even knicked fingers.

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